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Andrea Burdick

African Studies

Pentwater, MI
Political Science and French
African Studies
Study Abroad:
Dakar, Senegal
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In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
It’s important to teach people Africa isn’t a country.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I went on exchange in high school to South Africa for a year, which exposed me to an entirely different area of the world that I really had not learned much about in school. To find that those high school students were learning about American politics and history and yet I had very little exposure to South Africa really got me interested. Coming to K and taking some classes made me feel like I was evening the field a little. After my first quarter I knew I had to continue because I loved learning about it all. The professors in the African Studies department had always been great towards me. I have never felt scared or intimidated when walking into one of their offices to talk, even when it is not class-related.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Have fun with learning and do the reading.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Learning about Africa and consequently relating that knowledge to Eurocentric teachings that can be found in other classes has made learning about Africa eye opening. Not only is it seen in one classroom, but it continues in other classrooms.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
To think critically about issues and to search for every possible angle and to relate ideas from one area of study across another.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
I would have to say Gender Relations in Africa, because it was an entirely new topic for me and gave me new insight into some of the more controversial topics when it comes to relationships in Africa.

What is your SIP?
The Lost Girls: Gender and Militancy Between Child Soldiers in Africa

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I have no idea, but I’m sure I will figure it out. 

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